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Monday, April 22, 2013

Baby lambs 4/21/13
Yesterday following our church service as we were visiting with friends in the foyer Tirza came up and excitedly informed us that they had baby lambs. I ask her if they were white and misunderstanding me she assured me, "No, they don't bite". We drove by their farm for a brief visit to see the new additions born last Sunday.

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"Staying On Old Route 66"

"Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; turn your foot from evil" (Proverbs 4:26-27). "Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day" (Psalm 25:4,5). "Thus says the Lord, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls'. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it’" (Jeremiah 6:16).

Children in Sunday SchoolYesterday Brooksyne taught a children's Sunday School class. As part of the lesson she is having the children learn the Books of the Bible. She reinforced that there are thirty-nine books in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament making a total of sixty-six books in the Bible. She led out in an old memory-aiding song common to when Ester was growing up! In fact Ester can still say all 66 books in order due to the aid of music.

Historic Route 66 road signAs I considered the sixty-six books I recalled old route 66, one of the most famous roads in America. It passed right through Tulsa OK and only several hundred yards from where Brooksyne grew up. It also passed through Springfield MO where we both went to college. We'll be out that way this summer and we will undoubtedly be on Route 66 on several spots. But for true Route 66 aficionados the goal is staying on Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles (as much as possible*).

Route 66 road signToday we want to consider another sense of "staying on old route 66" the sense of staying faithful to the sixty-six books of the Bible. So many "have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (see 1 Timothy 6:10)

All three of today's Bible texts refer to "paths" Let us consider an element from each one:

1) Watching our path "Watch the path of your feet" We have all heard the phrase, "Watch your step", especially as a reminder of caution. That seems to be the sense of this passage. We need to be constantly on our guard and watch the path of our feet in these treacherous times. Earlier in the message we referred to Brooksyne using memory songs to teach the Books of the Bible. We also consider songs she's developed to teach Scripture verses and one that comes to mind is from Proverbs 4:27 that goes all the way back to backyard Bible studies from the early eighties but still is planted deep in my memory. Brooksyne sings this on today's podcast if you would like to learn the tune:

"Avoid evil,
avoid evil
and walk straight ahead.
(Repeat above)
Don't go one step off the right way (3x)

Proverbs 4:27
Avoid evil, avoid evil and walk straight ahead.

2) Praying for God to teach us His paths "O Lord; teach me Your paths." God has spoken through His Word. We need to seek Him that we might learn His ways and stay on His path. An old hymn comes to mind,

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

Open Bible3) Asking for the ancient paths  "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths." This verse is so contracultural to our age with all the emphasis on new, new, new. I thank God for many aspects of new but we must be soberly aware of the consequences when new "truth" replaces old "truth". After all truth does not change. We need to ask for these ancient paths found in God's ancient Word.

Ancient words, ever true
Changing me and changing you,
We have come with open hearts,
Oh let the ancient words impart.

Today, may we all make a fresh determination to stay on old Route 66 in staying true to the Bible.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, like the Psalmist I pray that You will show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. I'm indebted to Your loving grace that keeps me traveling the good path. There are many other paths that vie for my attention but I know instinctively through the Spirit and also by experience, that they are treacherous leading me to danger, a dead end, and leaving me with a spirit of unrest. I want to walk on the good path and find rest for my soul even in the midst of the dark valley experiences of my travels here on earth. I'm so grateful that You walk beside me on the path that leads to righteousness and eternal life. Amen.

Martin giant tree swing 4/21/13
On the farm with the lambs there is a tree swing on a giant Sycamore tree (Zaccheus would have had a hard time climbing up this tree!). Our friend Jason is swinging his 3 year old son who kept hollering, "Higher, Higher!" You could sure go high on this swing!

Corn planting 4/19/13
Spring planting and harvest was very active in our neighborhood this last weekend. On Friday they planted corn in the field behind us. On Saturday they mowed the rye off the field across from us. This is the same field in which we took the photo of our home across the street last week.

Amish steam sterilizer 4/21/13
Eli, our Amish neighbor, is getting ready to steam sterilize his vegetable beds. Here's a photo of the unit opened up.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Show Me Your Ways"
 Brentwood-Benson Music

"Open My Eyes That I May See"  Video  Hayes Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina Blessings to local churches that share their music with all.

"Ancient Words"  Video  Michael W. Smith

"Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing"  Video  Chris Rice  We sang this song in our church yesterday and the phrase "prone to wander" is especially pertinent to today's theme.

A version of the Bible Books song  Video  This is one of many. We were unable to find one to the tune Brooksyne uses.

"A Lesson From Route 66"  A previous article we wrote after some travel on Rt 66 along with photos.

An article about steam sterilizing soil.

*Route 66 has been replaced by Interstate 44 from Saint Louis to Oklahoma City, the portion we are most familiar with. Although many old sections run parallel to I-44 I don't believe all remain.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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